Google has blocked cryptocurrency ads. The search engine has cited phishing scams and mal-advertising, bad ad experiences, and coordinated action by scammers in order to explain its ad-screening policy related to cryptocurrency. Google has also banned the ads that are used for initial coin offerings (ICOs).
This new policy came into effect in June 2018 and followed bans from other social media sites, like Twitter and Facebook. Google took to its blog post in the month of March to state that ads will no longer be allowed to serve cryptocurrency and its relative content like cryptocurrency trading services, cryptocurrency wallets, cryptocurrency exchanges, etc.
The announcement brought down the price of bitcoin by more than 5%, bringing it from $9,200 to less than $8,700. Google says that improving ad experiences across the web and removing intrusive, harmful ads will always be the top-most priority for the company. The search engine giant also stated that they removed more than 3.2 billion ads that violated its policies.
The search giant will also be restricting ads for financial products like binary options, a risky derivative that can either pay you all or nothing at all. Currently, queries on Google for terms like ‘buy bitcoin’ and ‘binary options’ produces four ads in the top-most results.
The overall reaction of companies dealing with cryptocurrencies has been mixed. Many believe that Google and Facebook will ultimately modify their ban on lawful crypto-related services and products as the crypto-world becomes more regulated in the future.
They have also stated that while the policies make sense, concerns were upon crypto-companies that were operating legitimately and routinely reporting fraudulent ads to Google. But, a more-than-average number of crypt-entrepreneurs have cried foul play by the search engine giant.
Why is the ban justified to an extent?
While the world of cryptocurrency has produced a lot of wealth and excitement, it is still a largely unregulated space that has spawned many high-profile scams. Google says that no one has seen where the future is going with cryptocurrencies but they have seen the potential for consumer harm.
Both Facebook and Google have recently revealed their interest in the world of cryptocurrency and the underlying blockchain technology, thereby leading to a speculation that the ban is not only motivated to curb criminality.
Many experts like Phillip Nunn (CEO of Blackmore Group) have revealed that Google and Facebook are still advertising gambling websites and many other unethical practices. Others reveal that the ban has been implanted to fit in potential plans for their own cryptocurrency.
Why is Google within its rights to remove these ads?
On the announcement of the ban, crypto-entrepreneurs have been crying foul. But, it should be remembered that Google is a corporation, which is free to take such decisions. Had it not been for such decisions in the past, Google’s search and email functions would not have reached to such a wider audience. Business and policy must hedge the rising risks trends and techs may carry without being too restrictive.